[Updated] Apple Watch swipe up to access Control Center or notifications not working after recent watchOS update (potential workarounds)

Here’s the crux of the article in video form:

New updates are being added at the bottom of this story…….

Original story (published on April 14, 2022) follows:

The Apple Watch series is among the most popular smartwatches in the industry. The Apple wearable stands out for its premium design, many useful features, and perfect integration with the Apple ecosystem.

To facilitate navigation through the watch interface, there are some gestures that allow users to execute actions quickly.

For instance, there is a swipe-up gesture through which users can access the Apple Watch Control Center or notifications section.

However, according to multiple reports, the gesture is not working properly after recent watchOS updates (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7).

Apple Watch users cannot access Control Center with ‘swipe up’ gesture

There are many Apple Watch user reports related to the issue. Not only the ‘swipe up’ gesture is affected, but also the ‘swipe down’ gesture.

The problem in question prevents users from accessing their notifications, quick toggles from Control Center, change settings and more.


Apple Watch not able to swipe up or down from watch face main screen

Series 4, 44mm. This happen every couple of days whew so am not able to wipe down to get my recent notifications, nor am I able to swipe up to change settings like mute the ringer, sleep, etc.

it is aggravating that the only way I have found to resolve the issue is to reboot the watch. Surely there is a better way to get it going and more so, why has Apple done anything to fix this known “Bug”?

Up/down swipe no longer works

I can no longer swipe up or down on my Apple Watch. Trying to restart the watch by simultaneously pressing the side button and the crown wakes Siri, who can’t help me although he tried. How can I get the swipe back into my life?

Multiple reports indicate that the issue started for many after the most recent watchOS 8.5.1 update.


However, some users reported experiencing the glitch from earlier versions.


Some potential workarounds

That said, there are some potential workarounds that reportedly help mitigate the problem. The first workaround is to force-reboot the watch when it occurs:

Hold the side button. Slide to power off. Wait a minute or so.


Should do the trick

Also, you can try a reset by following the process below:

Reset the Watch, it will not affect your data. Press and hold the Digital Crown and the power button together until you see the Apple logo and then release. The Watch will reboot. Test.

Finally, you can try to unpair and re-pair the Apple Watch to setup as a new device:

(Click on the image to expand)

At the moment there is no official acknowledgment on the issue from Apple. We will update this story if there is any change on the matter.

Update 1 (May 10)

05:42 pm (IST): Many users are again reporting (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) that swipe-up gesture to open Control Center is not working for them.

Apple is yet to acknowledge this issue. And in the meantime, force restarting the watch can be a potential workaround.

Update 2 (May 17)

12:10 pm (IST): Apple has now released watchOS 8.6 update for eligible Apple Watches. And if you are still facing the issue with swipe-up gesture, then you can install the latest version and see if it gets resolved.

Update 3 (May 19)

06:11 pm (IST): One of the affected users said that he was able to access the notification and control center with slow swipes. So, users can try this solution and see if it helps.

Mine has done this since the last update. I have to slow down my swipes. (Source)

Update 4 (May 30)

01:52 pm (IST): According to a recent report, the issue where users can’t swipe up to access Control Center or notifications persists even after the latest update.

Update 5 (June 22)

06:45 pm (IST): Apple support suggests users remove any screen protector if installed and then try swiping up to get to the Control Center.

If you have any type of screen protector, please remove it and test again. (Source)

However, we doubt a screen protector could be interfering with the ability to swipe up to get to the Control Center since the issue gets fixed with a restart for a majority of users.

Update 6 (June 24)

06:34 pm (IST): Apple has released the second developer beta of watchOS 9, however, there’s no indication if it includes a fix for this issue.

Therefore, restarting the watch is the only workaround that might do the trick until any definitive fix is released.

Update 7 (July 1)

06:14 pm (IST): Users can try a complete factory reset of their Apple Watch in case the issue doesn’t get resolved by a reboot. This is a generic troubleshooting step that fixes the problem most of the time.

Update 8 (July 6)

05:13 pm (IST): Apple has released watchOS 8.7 beta 5 for developers, but there is no indication if it includes a fix for the swipe-up issue.

Update 9 (July 8)

06:21 pm (IST): The latest watchOS 9 developer beta 3 is now available to install. However, there’s no indication if it fixes the swipe-up issue.

Update 10 (July 11)

05:36 pm (IST): If this issue isn’t getting fixed by a restart, then users can try a temporary workaround where they need to tap and hold at the bottom while in apps and then swipe up.

How to open notifications/control center on #applewatch while in apps

• tap and hold top/bottom of your screen
• swipe down/up (Source)

Update 11 (July 15)

03:23 pm (IST): Apple has released watchOS 9 public beta 1. So, users who are still having issues accessing notifications or Control center using swipe up gesture can install it and see if the issue gets fixed.

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Jean Leon

A tech enthusiast since ever. I like to always be up to date on the latest news in the industry and write about it. Twitter: @jean_ERdC